1. What's your name and where are you from?
I’m Denise Belnavis, I live in the Washington, DC area. I have a Jamaican background.
2. What is your hair type?
3. When did you go natural and what made you do it?
My last relaxer was in October 2010. I started off as just trying to have healthy relaxed hair. Eventually, I started by stretching my hair relaxers to 6 months, but during the process decided to just stop relaxing. I transitioned for 14 months before I big chopped.
4. What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
Detangling while in transition, managing the 2 textures was hard in the beginning.
5. What is your weekly regimen?
I wash my hair every two weeks with Golden Wheat Deep Cleanse Shampoo by Giovanni. I deep condition every two weeks after my shampoo. I either use The Mane Choice Green Tea and Carrot Deep Conditioner, or mayonnaise mixed with coconut oil and honey to deep condition. I put on a plastic cap and sit under a heat cap for 45- 60 minutes. After that, I wash out my hair and condition using Smooth As Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner by Giovanni.
I finger detangle my hair in the shower. It is so much easier to detangle with the water running down your hair. I have not completely given up on combs, but it is very rare when I use one. I squeeze out the excess water, spray my hair with Giovanni Vitapro Fusion Leave-In Hair Treatment, and then apply some Direct Leave In Weightless Moisture Conditioner by Giovanni. I then style as desired.
6. What is your daily morning regimen?
Usually fluff and go.
7. What is your daily night time regimen?
I mist with Karen’s Body Beautiful Hair Moisture Mist and seal with virgin coconut oil, focusing mainly on my ends.
8. Do you use heat on your hair at all?
Yes, a few times a year I get my hair straightened. Other than that, I mainly air dry for the styles I do.
9. Do you braid your hair? If so, how often do you do so in a year?
Yes, I just recently started to. Since December 2013, I’ve had havana twists, crochet braids and 2 sew-in weaves.
10. Wide-tooth comb or Denman brush?
11. Is your hair normally loose or in a protective-do?
When I transitioned I mainly did protective styles because the 2 textures didn’t look right loose. Normally I wear my hair loose in a twist-out, but this year I’ve been doing a series of protective styles because my goal is to get to mid-back length before the year ends. I’m currently at bra strap length.
12. Have you ever had a hair tragedy? What was it? How did you recover from it?
While transitioning, after washing one night I didn’t twist immediately and went to sleep. I woke up with extremely matted hair. I slowly brushed out my hair in sections. I lost a lot of hair, but was just glad I didn’t have to immediately big chop.
13. What's your biggest tip for maintaining healthy or long hair?
Moisture, moisture, moisture! Dry hair on any texture is bad, but when dealing with coils and curls it’s easier to break and split.
14. Where can we find you online? (blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc).
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